Objectives: Higher levels of sexual risk behaviours have been reported in HIV positive compared with in HIV negative homosexual men. In clinic-based studies, higher rates of sexually transmissible infections have also been reported. We compared rates of common sexually transmissible infections between HIV positive and HIV negative homosexual men from two on-going cohort community-based studies in Sydney, Australia.
Methods: Participants in the two cohorts were recruited using similar community-based strategies. They were interviewed face-to-face annually after enrolment. Comprehensive sexual health screening, including hepatitis A and B, syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia (in urethra and anus), was offered to participants in both cohorts.
Results: In participants in the HIV positive cohort, 75% were hepatitis A sero-positive, 56% had serological evidence of prior or current hepatitis B infection, and 24% had evidence of vaccination against hepatitis B infection. Nineteen percent of men tested positive to syphilis, and 4% had evidence of recent infections. Compared with men in the HIV negative cohort, after adjustment for age, HIV positive participants had significantly higher prevalence of prior or current hepatitis B infection, syphilis, and anal gonorrhoea.
Conclusion: This finding supports the need for frequent STI testing in HIV positive men to prevent morbidity and to decrease the risk of ongoing HIV transmission.
- homosexuality, male
- sexually transmissible infections
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